My 4yr old XPS has caught a virus that I cant seem to shake and has been slowing down there for it is time to clean house. How do I uninstall and then reinstall my OS. I didnt get any cd's with the computer, the OS is supposed to be on a different partition. Is it true that the XPS system does not have PC restore? During the boot process when I press ctrl and f11 nothing happens. My computer does say press F2 for setup or F12 for boot menu. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
Dell's reinstallation guides below. If you have a PC Restore partition (2nd step), it should show up in Disk Management (Start - Run - type diskmgmt.msc) as a 4-5 GB hidden partition. If the partition exists and is working properly, right after the initial Dell boot screen there's a screen with a blue Dell.com bar across the top that lasts about 2 seconds - that's when you release the CTRL-F11 keys.
If the PC restore doesn't work, you'll have to reformat and reinstall manually. There's a link in the manual instructions for ordering replacement disks, or use this one (assuming you're in the US):
Just found out that the error "floppy diskette seek failure - strike f1 to continue, f2 to run setup utility" will appear with any ctrl + F key combo. If that helps anyone.... it sure doesnt help me.
If the tech had you reinstall manually from the disks, the PC Restore function won't work anymore. The article you linked to didn't necessarily apply to the 400 series - my XPS 410 has the PC restore. But if it's gone, it's gone - you'll have to do it the hard way.
The link I posted has Dell's manual reinstall instructions in Step 3 - just follow the link, choose the correct operating system, and read through the instructions. There are also any number of guides on the web on how to do it if you need them.